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Anxiety is high again

… And it’s from the weirdest trigger.

A local grocery store chain”s workers are on strike. It’s day 10 or 11 now. I have no direct investment in the outcome of the strike. People I know do, but I do not. L worked there briefly earlier this year, but left since the work was too much for her (physically, and with the added hours on top of her other 2 jobs)…

For some reason, the strike, specifically the suport of the workers as we drive by, and even just seeing the striking workers, skyrockets my anxiety. I can’t talk about it with people. I can’t drive by where they are (I’ve started seeing my driving routes to completely avoid the plazas). I can’t hear about it…

I become terrified. My chest starts to hurt, my mind races, and I panic that I’m going to get in really big trouble. It takes me a really long time to calm down once the panic starts, and it takes very little time to trigger the full panic.

I have no idea why it causes this. Over a week of intense anxiety, and all I’ve come up with is that I’m afraid of getting in deep, deep trouble…

One of the ladies in my group is personally effected by it. This past week, we spent a good 20-30 minutes in it in group. It was all I could do to not have from the room. I didn’t feel I had any right asking them to stop because her daily life is effected by it, and I’m only made anxious by the concept of it…

I guess it was kinda good that I let the anxiety build more (though I did start to mentally check out), because I started to feel the rumblings of flashbacks trying to break through. It made me want to cut my arms and legs, and cry, and hide… The flashbacks never came though, so I’m still stumped. At least I know there’s something specific there. I have no idea what, but it’s something rather than the seeming nothing it had been prior to group.

I started to text Dr C. about it, but she stopped responding. I’m guessing she got busy and distracted with other things… She didn’t directly say that we will talk about it another time, or tell me to stop texting, but she wasn’t engaging in the exchange, so… Not gonna bother her outside of session with it. It’s time I started learning to leave her alone outside of the office anyway. She’s getting older, and closer to retirement. I’m gonna have to find another therapist at some point, and I doubt they will tolerate between session contact… Not looking forward to having to find someone again. It’s been so difficult to find a good therapist who I can work with… Maybe I just won’t need one by the time she fully retires…

Here’s hoping.

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Conversations with myself

In group on Thursday, we talked about things we do before going to sleep; what’s helpful, what’s not, and other things that keep us awake.

One woman brought up replaying instances where she needed to stand up for herself, times she wished she had handled things differently, or practicing for upcoming conversations she would have that might be uncomfortable.

That topic brought up something that I’ve been [doing? experiencing?…] in the last several months, and I’m not quite sure what to make of it, though I haven’t given it too much thought till I was reminded of it in group: dialogues that start as rehashing experiences, but that divert into more of something along the lines of listening to a tv show playing in the background.

I start out in control and participating in the dialogue, but somewhere along the way, it becomes something I simply listen to. It’s not necessarily related to the topic or experience I was rehashing in my head originally, thought branches off from there. I would say it’s me falling into dreamland, but my eyes are open half the time, and I’m still doing my bedtime routine…

It kinda reminds me of the time I’d get into a zone, and just write fiction. It’s really similar to the feeling of disconnect from the stories I’d put to paper, and it’s definitely not memories or current events… I similarly forget the details and most of the topics once out of “the zone”. I’m guessing if I’d written it down, it would be one of those things I reread over and over again as if it were new to me at each reading…

It’s such a weird experience, and not weird at the same time.

I’ve been trying to figure out if it’s hallucinations, or dreams, or something else. Sometimes I worry it might be hallucinations, which would be really scary, coz that would mean there’s something wrong. I have no history of non-drug-induced hallucinations, so them starting this late in the game means problems… And then I feel like I might be developing some hypochondriac tendencies, coz none of the testing this far has revealed anything, which means there can’t be anything actually wrong or they would have found it by now… Right?

Someone please convince my brain to stop messing with me…


Disconnect (dissociation?)

Still feeling so disconnected from any part of the past… It almost feels like “living in the present” taken to an extreme level; nothing from the past holds connection right now.

The furthest I feel connected to is maybe this weekend, but even that’s sketchy.

I don’t know… Hope it resolves in short order.


Inappropriate?

I’m struggling a bit with understanding if the physical therapist I saw today was inappropriate with his comments. L says he definitely was, as his comments were very devaluing.

I was telling him about my bad days since this whole muscle thing started (basically, load up on pain meds, and veg on the couch because I physically cannot do anything else). He said something along the lines of “Netflix and bon bons… So you’re basically the person I’ve been making fun of all this time”. He kinda laughed as he said it, and it wasn’t in a mean tone. I was a bit taken aback by it, but tried to roll with the “teasing”. He seemed to be joking with everyone in the office as we were walking back, so I assumed he was just being goofy.

Prior to that, he also commented “so you’re scared” at one point when he was reading my paperwork. When I looked at him confused, he elaborated that he saw I wanted to be told everything he was going to do before doing it… At this point, if he hadn’t been giving me negative vibes, I probably would have disclosed my PTSD, and maybe given him some cursory info, but… I wasn’t consciously sure why I didn’t offer more info, I just didn’t. In hindsight (and after several hours of processing the encounter in my head), I’m glad I didn’t disclose anything beyond what he immediately needed to know for the PT.

At another point in history-taking, I was explaining my anxiety and agoraphobia since this muscle thing happened, and he commented “how’d you ever find anyone to marry you with all this anxiety & not going out?”

There were other things that bothered me also, like his distinct lack of personal space. I’ve been to physical therapy before, and I’ve not had any of the PT’s sit so close while doing the initial assessment. At one point, he rolled his chair right up to mine, and basically blocked me from moving when his legs touched my knees. I pushed my chair back, and to his credit, he moved away and to the side with his, but that didn’t last long. Within a few minutes, we were back in that position. He was a hair further away the second time, but it still made me really uncomfortable. I’m not quite sure why I didn’t move away again.

He seems to know what he is doing in terms of the physical therapy (maybe?), But he either has no filter, doesn’t understand social norms, or just doesn’t care…

I told L about my interactions, and she was able to label it as devaluing and inappropriate (I had simply presented it as being uneasy about the guy, but not being sure if I was taking things harder in light of my history). She was mad enough that she wanted to call the office and get me either switched to another PT, or to switch offices completely. Unfortunately, the office was closing by the time she decided this, so we tabled it for another day. I suggested I return for my Monday appointment & see if that was just a fluke. If he still makes me uneasy, then I’d either confront him about it (unlikely, as I suck at confrontation, but big dreams of standing up for myself), or cancel my other appointments with him and ask to switch PT’s and/or offices…

Part of me still thinks he was just kidding around and being a jerk, but then, that’s not his place as a new-to-me medical professional… Sure, I joke and kid with people, but not in that way, and not with people I’m not more familiar with…

:Sigh:

I don’t want to get him fired or anything. I don’t want him in trouble, but I don’t really want to work with him either. I keep going back to feeling like I’m just taking things the wrong way, that I shouldn’t be bothered by these interactions, but… I am.

Ugh! I have bring so unsure of everything. L is sure, why can’t I trust her insight?? I keep thinking maybe I presented it to her in a biased way… I’m probably just overreacting. It’s probably nothing, and I’m just attributing meaning that isn’t there…


Arthritis…

The MRI my PCP ordered came back showing advanced arthritis in my neck (and likely back also, since it gets worse the further down my neck you look).

It’s apparently from overuse… And I have the neck of someone twice my age.

She said it can explain some of my symptoms, mostly the tingling & pain in my left arm, but not the vertigo, confusion, memory issues, shortness of breath…

There’s nothing else there though; no disc erosion, no herniated discs… That’s a relief.

Now, off to PT to see if I can learn stretches and strengthening exercises, and also help this most recent round of vertigo that hasn’t subsided in going on 3 weeks.


Buzzing

My brain feels all “zappy” and twitchy today.

My body definitely dislikes gabapentin.

I can’t wait for all these side effects to be done with…


Freaking out: meds or ptsd?

Started taking gabapentin for fibromyalgia, and it’s triggered flashbacks (tried it as a psych med many years ago during several stints inpatient). I’m having trouble grounding from feeling out of control and scared… I text Dr. C a bit, but… I dunno. I can’t shake the feeling of being helpless in this situation, and having no choice in whether or not I take this med (though I know I totally have a choice, and could stop anytime I want to; no one is forcing me or threatening me about it this time). Part of me is still shaking in a corner, waiting to be hospitalized if I don’t want it…
I dunno. I’m not sure it’s worth this panic. The pot does reasonably well with the pain, so maybe I just need to stick with that? Maybe now that the neurologist says this is likely fibro, maybe I just need to learn to live with it with the meds I currently have?

I’m totally freaking out on this gabapentin. I want to self-destruct in so many ways, and I’m not sure if it’s the meds or ptsd.

Neurologist said to give it till Monday…